He was the patriarch of the Raphelengius printing family. He held the chair in Hebrew at Leiden from 1587, and also had knowledge of Arabic and Persian. He wrote an Arabic-Latin lexicon, which was published posthumously in 1613.
This was said to be the first proper dictionary of the Arabic language. He collaborated on the Antwerp Polyglot Bible, and was official printer for the university. His scholarly printing qualities were one of the attractions that drew Joseph Justus Scaliger to Leiden in 1593.
Raphelengius died in Leiden.